Wednesday, May 20, 2009

So Much to Do...

I'm going a little crazy trying to finish up everything I have to do at work before I go on leave next week.

This whole cancer thing came up so fast. It's hard to believe it's been only two weeks since I was diagnosed, and only five or six days ago that I was told when my surgery would be. It's even harder to believe that I've got, seriously, like three days to wrap up everything I need to do before I'm off for a whole month.

I have a few projects on my desk and I, truthfully, am a little anxious about leaving them. I'm in the process of putting together a list of them to give to my boss for while I'm out... but I'm also fighting my own control freak tendencies.

It's not like others can't do the job, or that they can't do them as well as me... it's more that I don't WANT anyone else doing them. There's one specific project that I was recently given that involves putting together a press and multimedia package for upper management. It's for an internal Brand campaign. I was soooo excited to have landed the project...but now, however, I need to put together the project plan and just hand it off.

It doesn't sit well with me.

I was in the shower this morning, thinking as I often do. I actually do my best thinking when I'm in the shower, or driving into work. Seriously. Anyway... I was considering the fact that I will not be working for a whole month and it seemed weird. Just this week, I reached my 15 year anniversary at work. 15 years I've been here... this little job that was supposed to hold me over until I decided what I wanted to be "when I grew up". Now, here I am, 15 years later with a career.

And, with only a few exceptions of the very occasional vacation week here or there... I've been working five days a week for the last fifteen years. I have, on average, worked 49-50 weeks a year for the last 15 years. To have a month break seems somehow monumental.

Little thoughts like that, the endless parsing of details and minutia, help me not think about the pain and uncomfortableness of the coming weeks and my need to be strong for my family.

I also find myself having more and more surreal moments that I know are part of my own acceptance of my health situation. Yesterday, for example; I went down to ground floor of my office to go to the on-site convenient store. Imagine if you will, a long open floor plan, much like the concourse of an airport. It's nicer though. There's wood trim and dark, comforting carpeting. On the walls is an odd mix of modern art. Some of it is beautiful, some of it's odd, and some of it is even mildly disturbing; but isn't that really the way art should be?

But I digress...

I walked off the elevator around noon and the halls were filled with people on their way to or from lunch, or to meetings in other buildings. They were all talking, or laughing, or walking silently with only the buzzing drone of worker bee thoughts in their worker bee heads.

I stopped near a sculpture that can only be described as a midget Cthulhu businessman... and had an overwhelming urge to yell, "I HAVE CANCER."

I don't know why. The need to announce it just snuck up and struck me repeatedly over the head. I actually placed a hand over my mouth and took several deep breaths until it passed.

The nearest thing I can compare it to is that almost uncontrollable urge some people get to just step off the edge and jump when they're on a balcony or a high place. There's no reason for the mad thoughts, but they're there... whispering and urging you to take a suicidal swan dive. A few years ago, I read that a small percentage of people felt this urge and manage to suppress it, but it is a weird little evolutionary glitch, don't you agree? And, for the record, I'm one of those people. The article helped me in showing that I wasn't alone, that I wasn't the only person who had to physically restrain myself when a several story drop was a mere step away from the tip of my black, Chuck Taylor Converse sneakers - that I had to restrain myself from jumping out and experiencing the brief, yet exquisite, exhilaration of a few, short seconds of free fall.

The urge to shout about my cancer, like the irresistible pull of launching myself skyward like poor, cloud-chasing Icarus, soon passed... but it lingers still.

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